Sex, Politics, and the Single Latina

March 9, 2012
By
By Melissa Blanco Borelli

I like to have sex, and lots of it.

The kind of back arching, toe curling sex that is non-missionary and non-procreative. Yes, exactly the kind that the conservative cohort in the U.S. wants to limit, police, and vilify. I realize that by my admission of such sexual behavior, I am perhaps feeding into the stereotype of the hypersexual Latina, the ravenous, curvaceous she-wolf that cannot get enough of phallic pleasure and seeks to conquer men with a sly glance, a swerve of the hip, and the promise of a happy ending.

But mine is a purposeful rendering of that stereotype. First, it commands attention (c’mon, I know it did). Second, it demonstrates how talking about female sexual desire and its fulfilment may make certain people uncomfortable.  And last, it demonstrates how writing about sex and engaging with the practice(s) of it enables an understanding of the ways in which its silencing have both affected and shaped how we think about it. As French philosopher Michel Foucault asked in his tome The History of Sexuality, “When did we get so repressed?” Rather than recite Western history’s long and exhausting battle with sexuality, I want to address why it is important now more than ever for women, especially Latinas, to speak about sex, sexuality, and pleasure.

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health reports that over half of Latinas ages 18 to 34 have said they go without birth control because of the high cost. My college professor friends tell me about some of their Latina students who deal with unplanned pregnancies because they have no access to contraception, come from traditional Latino families where female sexuality is not discussed, and have boyfriends who do not bother to wear condoms as a sign of their macho entitlement. Many Latina women’s health organizations have praised President Obama for his measure to provide more accessible and affordable contraception. Meanwhile, the ongoing Christian conservative culture wars only detract attention from more pressing matters, such as the United States’ shrinking middle class, the depletion of the world’s natural resources, and the global economic crisis to name a few.

The false premise, that if contraception becomes more readily available non-procreative sexual activity will automatically increase, is ridiculous. It is just as ridiculous as the Catholic Church assuming that if we allow gay marriage, more people will become gay and this will prove detrimental to our species’ existence (there are 7 billion of us, how many more people can this Earth hold?). Perhaps I have been distracted by all of this sex I like to have, but seriously, what is so wrong with more non-procreative sex? And even more importantly, what is wrong with open and intelligent discussions about human sexuality? Surely if we speak about it in educative and socially constructive ways, centuries of taboos may not stand up as “erectly” as they currently do.

Images of violence (much of it directed towards women) come at us constantly by the corporate media. The increasing pornification of popular culture renders women’s bodies as mere objects to lust after, consume, and dismiss.   What kind of value system has consumer capitalism created that allows for such images to circulate while politicians attempt to silence women’s desires, choices, and self-expression? In such a limited, patriarchal understanding of the world, it should come as no surprise that conservative politicians are willing to assign subject status—personhood—to a corporation over a woman.

Fortunately, as free agents, women enjoy inalienable rights to express themselves in multiple ways, particularly by having the freedom to have sex whenever and with whomever we please.  Yet, within societies where the ideological structure has historically justified the submission and policing of women and their bodies, the threat of a thinking, doing, and dare I say fornicating-for-pleasure woman is too much to bear. Sandra Fluke merely spoke of the difficulty she and other women students at Georgetown University face when trying to get access to contraception, and immediately she was slandered by a man, who decided to make and publicize a moral judgment about her. I refuse to use his name or the words he called her because the more we put into discourse these outdated understandings of women’s sexual behaviors and the ignorant pundits who circulate them, the more we detract from productive conversations we could be having about human sexuality.

My favorite, current such intervention comes from Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá’s book Sex at Dawn, which examines the history of human sexuality and argues that we are not as monogamous as religion, culture, or even science would have us believe. I am also interested in The Desire Project, a website dedicated to women expressing what they want. The site includes video footage of women of all ages and colors speaking about sex; refreshing confessions, to say the least. This election year makes it a political and social imperative to engage in conversations about women’s sexuality in all of its variations.

Time Magazine predicts Latino voters will have a significant impact on this year’s elections. So I urge women, especially Latinas, to have conversations and really engage with the significance of making sexuality an important issue. The more we own the discussions about it, the more we can have power over what gets said. It is time we put these unproductive stigmas attached to women’s sexuality (pardon the pun) to bed. In the meantime, this single Latina who has just spent some time writing about sex will continue to find opportunities to enjoy it.

_______________________________

Melissa Blanco Borelli, PhD, is a scholar, dancer, feminist cultural critic, and writer based in the UK where she is Lecturer in Dance Studies at the University of Surrey. Her research interests include gender, race, and popular dance in film, television, and music videos. She is the editor of the forthcoming anthology The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen, and is completing another book on the mixed-race woman and social dance in Cuba. You can follow her on twitter @MelissaBlancoB or http://melissablancob.tumblr.com/.

 

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52 Responses to Sex, Politics, and the Single Latina

  1. David Y on March 9, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Thanks for posting something to counter-balance the insanity of the vocal minority.

    • Wanda Kolomyjec on March 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Provoking and thoughtful article. LOVED it.

    • rc on March 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Sandra Fluke has trouble getting access to contraception? Give me me break. She is an elite at an elite law school who will make six figues. She makes all women look like whiners. I'm all for sex, but I think she makes women look weak and entitled. She is disingenuous and should be seen through, too bad all the attention went to the idiot Limbaugh

      • Karen on March 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm

        It'd be a great idea to read Sandra Fluke's testimony. She says, for example:

        "For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that's practically an entire summer's salary."

        Most of her testimony, however, is not about her. It's about the women at her university who reported problems getting coverage for contraceptives (40% of the female students).

        "In 65 percent of the cases at our school, our female students were interrogated by insurance representatives and university medical staff about why they needed prescriptions and whether they were lying about their symptoms."

        That shouldn't be permissible anywhere. That it's happening at an elite college isn't the point. The point is that a) it's happening at all, and b) if it's happening there, it's odds on that it's happening to women in far less privileged surroundings. The point is that Fluke is clearly stating the consequences for women who are treated this way.

        Pointing out that this policy has far-reaching medical implications for those of us for whom hormonal contraceptives are essential medication (for PCOS), for those who have been raped, for those with disorders affecting our reproductive organs, for those of us who are married and want to limit our family size, AND that moralising at women is not what good health care is about makes women look "weak and entitled"? I am trying to understand your perspective, and having real difficulty with it. Perhaps it's because I've known women forced into dangerous pregnancies for lack of access to birth control; perhaps it's because I know how valuable hormonal birth control has been in dealing with my PCOS; perhaps it's because I have friends who can't afford more kids.

        Here's a link to the testimony in full – http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2

      • Bountious on March 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm

        Sandra Fluke was standing up for women, generally. Stop spitting up Fox News.

  2. David Y on March 9, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Thanks for posting something to counter-balance the insanity of the vocal minority.

    • Wanda Kolomyjec on March 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Provoking and thoughtful article. LOVED it.

    • rc on March 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Sandra Fluke has trouble getting access to contraception? Give me me break. She is an elite at an elite law school who will make six figues. She makes all women look like whiners. I'm all for sex, but I think she makes women look weak and entitled. She is disingenuous and should be seen through, too bad all the attention went to the idiot Limbaugh

      • Karen on March 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm

        It'd be a great idea to read Sandra Fluke's testimony. She says, for example:

        "For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that's practically an entire summer's salary."

        Most of her testimony, however, is not about her. It's about the women at her university who reported problems getting coverage for contraceptives (40% of the female students).

        "In 65 percent of the cases at our school, our female students were interrogated by insurance representatives and university medical staff about why they needed prescriptions and whether they were lying about their symptoms."

        That shouldn't be permissible anywhere. That it's happening at an elite college isn't the point. The point is that a) it's happening at all, and b) if it's happening there, it's odds on that it's happening to women in far less privileged surroundings. The point is that Fluke is clearly stating the consequences for women who are treated this way.

        Pointing out that this policy has far-reaching medical implications for those of us for whom hormonal contraceptives are essential medication (for PCOS), for those who have been raped, for those with disorders affecting our reproductive organs, for those of us who are married and want to limit our family size, AND that moralising at women is not what good health care is about makes women look "weak and entitled"? I am trying to understand your perspective, and having real difficulty with it. Perhaps it's because I've known women forced into dangerous pregnancies for lack of access to birth control; perhaps it's because I know how valuable hormonal birth control has been in dealing with my PCOS; perhaps it's because I have friends who can't afford more kids.

        Here's a link to the testimony in full – http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2

      • Bountious on March 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm

        Sandra Fluke was standing up for women, generally. Stop spitting up Fox News.

  3. David Y on March 9, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Thanks for posting something to counter-balance the insanity of the vocal minority.

    • Wanda Kolomyjec on March 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Provoking and thoughtful article. LOVED it.

    • rc on March 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Sandra Fluke has trouble getting access to contraception? Give me me break. She is an elite at an elite law school who will make six figues. She makes all women look like whiners. I'm all for sex, but I think she makes women look weak and entitled. She is disingenuous and should be seen through, too bad all the attention went to the idiot Limbaugh

      • Karen on March 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm

        It'd be a great idea to read Sandra Fluke's testimony. She says, for example:

        "For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that's practically an entire summer's salary."

        Most of her testimony, however, is not about her. It's about the women at her university who reported problems getting coverage for contraceptives (40% of the female students).

        "In 65 percent of the cases at our school, our female students were interrogated by insurance representatives and university medical staff about why they needed prescriptions and whether they were lying about their symptoms."

        That shouldn't be permissible anywhere. That it's happening at an elite college isn't the point. The point is that a) it's happening at all, and b) if it's happening there, it's odds on that it's happening to women in far less privileged surroundings. The point is that Fluke is clearly stating the consequences for women who are treated this way.

        Pointing out that this policy has far-reaching medical implications for those of us for whom hormonal contraceptives are essential medication (for PCOS), for those who have been raped, for those with disorders affecting our reproductive organs, for those of us who are married and want to limit our family size, AND that moralising at women is not what good health care is about makes women look "weak and entitled"? I am trying to understand your perspective, and having real difficulty with it. Perhaps it's because I've known women forced into dangerous pregnancies for lack of access to birth control; perhaps it's because I know how valuable hormonal birth control has been in dealing with my PCOS; perhaps it's because I have friends who can't afford more kids.

        Here's a link to the testimony in full – http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2

      • Bountious on March 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm

        Sandra Fluke was standing up for women, generally. Stop spitting up Fox News.

  4. David Y on March 9, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Thanks for posting something to counter-balance the insanity of the vocal minority.

    • Wanda Kolomyjec on March 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Provoking and thoughtful article. LOVED it.

    • rc on March 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Sandra Fluke has trouble getting access to contraception? Give me me break. She is an elite at an elite law school who will make six figues. She makes all women look like whiners. I'm all for sex, but I think she makes women look weak and entitled. She is disingenuous and should be seen through, too bad all the attention went to the idiot Limbaugh

      • Karen on March 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm

        It'd be a great idea to read Sandra Fluke's testimony. She says, for example:

        "For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that's practically an entire summer's salary."

        Most of her testimony, however, is not about her. It's about the women at her university who reported problems getting coverage for contraceptives (40% of the female students).

        "In 65 percent of the cases at our school, our female students were interrogated by insurance representatives and university medical staff about why they needed prescriptions and whether they were lying about their symptoms."

        That shouldn't be permissible anywhere. That it's happening at an elite college isn't the point. The point is that a) it's happening at all, and b) if it's happening there, it's odds on that it's happening to women in far less privileged surroundings. The point is that Fluke is clearly stating the consequences for women who are treated this way.

        Pointing out that this policy has far-reaching medical implications for those of us for whom hormonal contraceptives are essential medication (for PCOS), for those who have been raped, for those with disorders affecting our reproductive organs, for those of us who are married and want to limit our family size, AND that moralising at women is not what good health care is about makes women look "weak and entitled"? I am trying to understand your perspective, and having real difficulty with it. Perhaps it's because I've known women forced into dangerous pregnancies for lack of access to birth control; perhaps it's because I know how valuable hormonal birth control has been in dealing with my PCOS; perhaps it's because I have friends who can't afford more kids.

        Here's a link to the testimony in full – http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2

      • Bountious on March 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm

        Sandra Fluke was standing up for women, generally. Stop spitting up Fox News.

  5. Jen on March 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Well, interesting article, but also misguided. The author stated that she believe that church wants to ban gay marriage because " more people will become gay and this will prove detrimental to our species’ existence…" This is false! I suggest you do careful research before you attack the church reasons. The catholic church does not allow gay marriage because in the bible, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman, not because of "species existance."

    • Karen on March 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      The Bible doesn't define marriage that way. In the Old Testament, you'll find a variety of marriage models, mainly based firmly in polygyny.

      There's the taking by force of women whose tribe you've been at war with model; the buy your wives in order of age so you can get the wife you want model; the have hundreds of wives and concubines model; the marry girls off in their early teens model; the offer up your daughters as bribes model; the mandatory marrying of your brother's widow because it's illegal to marry outside your clan model; the marriage for strategic advantage model; the you're a widow so your deceased spouse's family get to dictate if and who you marry; the you're a woman so your father or brothers get to dictate who you marry model…

      In the New Testament, Jesus is asked by Pharisees to explain his understanding of the law regarding marriage, and he explains that the law makes a woman and man "one flesh" (this is often misinterpreted to mean that he's saying that monogamy is the only acceptable model, when he's saying that contemporary law recognises that a woman becomes entirely subsumed by her marriage, having no legal or social rights of her own; it does not mean that a man cannot have more than one wife), and quotes the most conservative interpretation of law on divorce: that only a man has a right to divorce, and then only on grounds of his wife's adultery. He's not asked about his opinion of an ideal, he's being tested to see if he understands the law.

      Now, the Catholic and other anti-marriage equality churches are saying that marriage is a solidly, unchangeable institution, that definitions do not change.

      Yet this is untrue. In the western world, we've moved from polygamy to monogamy as the legal and social norm; it's no longer legal to marry off a 12-year old girl to a 14-year old boy; it's now illegal to make forced marriages; marriages used to be contracted by civil authorities and blessed in churches… the list of changes could go on and on.

      The argument shifts according to circumstance. First we're told it's about the genders of the people involved. When that's challenged, we're told that the genders matter because marriage is primarily for the begetting and rearing of children. When we point out that post-menopausal women and infertile adults and adults who don't wish to have children are allowed to marry, we're told that marriage is about the unique quality of loving companionship between a man and a woman.

      The Catholic church allowed abortion up to the point of "the quickening", until modern science showed us about foetal development. It then became anti-abortion in all cases at all points throughout pregnancy. Both were explained at the time as the unchangeable tradition of the Church, based on Biblical definitions of what is right and acceptable to God.

      I've great sympathy with people struggling to reconcile faith, morality, science and facts and evidence. We all struggle to do that on some level – we all have opinions that we support with selective facts, and ditch the uncomfy evidence that might undermine our concrete certainties.

      Churches are right to reformulate their policies in line with evolving understandings of their scriptures and theologies. I just have a hard time with them doing so, and then claiming that they a) have a monopoly on knowing what's right, and b) are sticking to an unchanging tradition when all the evidence is that it changes frequently.

  6. Jen on March 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Well, interesting article, but also misguided. The author stated that she believe that church wants to ban gay marriage because " more people will become gay and this will prove detrimental to our species’ existence…" This is false! I suggest you do careful research before you attack the church reasons. The catholic church does not allow gay marriage because in the bible, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman, not because of "species existance."

    • Karen on March 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      The Bible doesn't define marriage that way. In the Old Testament, you'll find a variety of marriage models, mainly based firmly in polygyny.

      There's the taking by force of women whose tribe you've been at war with model; the buy your wives in order of age so you can get the wife you want model; the have hundreds of wives and concubines model; the marry girls off in their early teens model; the offer up your daughters as bribes model; the mandatory marrying of your brother's widow because it's illegal to marry outside your clan model; the marriage for strategic advantage model; the you're a widow so your deceased spouse's family get to dictate if and who you marry; the you're a woman so your father or brothers get to dictate who you marry model…

      In the New Testament, Jesus is asked by Pharisees to explain his understanding of the law regarding marriage, and he explains that the law makes a woman and man "one flesh" (this is often misinterpreted to mean that he's saying that monogamy is the only acceptable model, when he's saying that contemporary law recognises that a woman becomes entirely subsumed by her marriage, having no legal or social rights of her own; it does not mean that a man cannot have more than one wife), and quotes the most conservative interpretation of law on divorce: that only a man has a right to divorce, and then only on grounds of his wife's adultery. He's not asked about his opinion of an ideal, he's being tested to see if he understands the law.

      Now, the Catholic and other anti-marriage equality churches are saying that marriage is a solidly, unchangeable institution, that definitions do not change.

      Yet this is untrue. In the western world, we've moved from polygamy to monogamy as the legal and social norm; it's no longer legal to marry off a 12-year old girl to a 14-year old boy; it's now illegal to make forced marriages; marriages used to be contracted by civil authorities and blessed in churches… the list of changes could go on and on.

      The argument shifts according to circumstance. First we're told it's about the genders of the people involved. When that's challenged, we're told that the genders matter because marriage is primarily for the begetting and rearing of children. When we point out that post-menopausal women and infertile adults and adults who don't wish to have children are allowed to marry, we're told that marriage is about the unique quality of loving companionship between a man and a woman.

      The Catholic church allowed abortion up to the point of "the quickening", until modern science showed us about foetal development. It then became anti-abortion in all cases at all points throughout pregnancy. Both were explained at the time as the unchangeable tradition of the Church, based on Biblical definitions of what is right and acceptable to God.

      I've great sympathy with people struggling to reconcile faith, morality, science and facts and evidence. We all struggle to do that on some level – we all have opinions that we support with selective facts, and ditch the uncomfy evidence that might undermine our concrete certainties.

      Churches are right to reformulate their policies in line with evolving understandings of their scriptures and theologies. I just have a hard time with them doing so, and then claiming that they a) have a monopoly on knowing what's right, and b) are sticking to an unchanging tradition when all the evidence is that it changes frequently.

  7. Jen on March 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Well, interesting article, but also misguided. The author stated that she believe that church wants to ban gay marriage because " more people will become gay and this will prove detrimental to our species’ existence…" This is false! I suggest you do careful research before you attack the church reasons. The catholic church does not allow gay marriage because in the bible, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman, not because of "species existance."

    • Karen on March 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      The Bible doesn't define marriage that way. In the Old Testament, you'll find a variety of marriage models, mainly based firmly in polygyny.

      There's the taking by force of women whose tribe you've been at war with model; the buy your wives in order of age so you can get the wife you want model; the have hundreds of wives and concubines model; the marry girls off in their early teens model; the offer up your daughters as bribes model; the mandatory marrying of your brother's widow because it's illegal to marry outside your clan model; the marriage for strategic advantage model; the you're a widow so your deceased spouse's family get to dictate if and who you marry; the you're a woman so your father or brothers get to dictate who you marry model…

      In the New Testament, Jesus is asked by Pharisees to explain his understanding of the law regarding marriage, and he explains that the law makes a woman and man "one flesh" (this is often misinterpreted to mean that he's saying that monogamy is the only acceptable model, when he's saying that contemporary law recognises that a woman becomes entirely subsumed by her marriage, having no legal or social rights of her own; it does not mean that a man cannot have more than one wife), and quotes the most conservative interpretation of law on divorce: that only a man has a right to divorce, and then only on grounds of his wife's adultery. He's not asked about his opinion of an ideal, he's being tested to see if he understands the law.

      Now, the Catholic and other anti-marriage equality churches are saying that marriage is a solidly, unchangeable institution, that definitions do not change.

      Yet this is untrue. In the western world, we've moved from polygamy to monogamy as the legal and social norm; it's no longer legal to marry off a 12-year old girl to a 14-year old boy; it's now illegal to make forced marriages; marriages used to be contracted by civil authorities and blessed in churches… the list of changes could go on and on.

      The argument shifts according to circumstance. First we're told it's about the genders of the people involved. When that's challenged, we're told that the genders matter because marriage is primarily for the begetting and rearing of children. When we point out that post-menopausal women and infertile adults and adults who don't wish to have children are allowed to marry, we're told that marriage is about the unique quality of loving companionship between a man and a woman.

      The Catholic church allowed abortion up to the point of "the quickening", until modern science showed us about foetal development. It then became anti-abortion in all cases at all points throughout pregnancy. Both were explained at the time as the unchangeable tradition of the Church, based on Biblical definitions of what is right and acceptable to God.

      I've great sympathy with people struggling to reconcile faith, morality, science and facts and evidence. We all struggle to do that on some level – we all have opinions that we support with selective facts, and ditch the uncomfy evidence that might undermine our concrete certainties.

      Churches are right to reformulate their policies in line with evolving understandings of their scriptures and theologies. I just have a hard time with them doing so, and then claiming that they a) have a monopoly on knowing what's right, and b) are sticking to an unchanging tradition when all the evidence is that it changes frequently.

  8. Jen on March 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Well, interesting article, but also misguided. The author stated that she believe that church wants to ban gay marriage because " more people will become gay and this will prove detrimental to our species’ existence…" This is false! I suggest you do careful research before you attack the church reasons. The catholic church does not allow gay marriage because in the bible, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman, not because of "species existance."

    • Karen on March 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      The Bible doesn't define marriage that way. In the Old Testament, you'll find a variety of marriage models, mainly based firmly in polygyny.

      There's the taking by force of women whose tribe you've been at war with model; the buy your wives in order of age so you can get the wife you want model; the have hundreds of wives and concubines model; the marry girls off in their early teens model; the offer up your daughters as bribes model; the mandatory marrying of your brother's widow because it's illegal to marry outside your clan model; the marriage for strategic advantage model; the you're a widow so your deceased spouse's family get to dictate if and who you marry; the you're a woman so your father or brothers get to dictate who you marry model…

      In the New Testament, Jesus is asked by Pharisees to explain his understanding of the law regarding marriage, and he explains that the law makes a woman and man "one flesh" (this is often misinterpreted to mean that he's saying that monogamy is the only acceptable model, when he's saying that contemporary law recognises that a woman becomes entirely subsumed by her marriage, having no legal or social rights of her own; it does not mean that a man cannot have more than one wife), and quotes the most conservative interpretation of law on divorce: that only a man has a right to divorce, and then only on grounds of his wife's adultery. He's not asked about his opinion of an ideal, he's being tested to see if he understands the law.

      Now, the Catholic and other anti-marriage equality churches are saying that marriage is a solidly, unchangeable institution, that definitions do not change.

      Yet this is untrue. In the western world, we've moved from polygamy to monogamy as the legal and social norm; it's no longer legal to marry off a 12-year old girl to a 14-year old boy; it's now illegal to make forced marriages; marriages used to be contracted by civil authorities and blessed in churches… the list of changes could go on and on.

      The argument shifts according to circumstance. First we're told it's about the genders of the people involved. When that's challenged, we're told that the genders matter because marriage is primarily for the begetting and rearing of children. When we point out that post-menopausal women and infertile adults and adults who don't wish to have children are allowed to marry, we're told that marriage is about the unique quality of loving companionship between a man and a woman.

      The Catholic church allowed abortion up to the point of "the quickening", until modern science showed us about foetal development. It then became anti-abortion in all cases at all points throughout pregnancy. Both were explained at the time as the unchangeable tradition of the Church, based on Biblical definitions of what is right and acceptable to God.

      I've great sympathy with people struggling to reconcile faith, morality, science and facts and evidence. We all struggle to do that on some level – we all have opinions that we support with selective facts, and ditch the uncomfy evidence that might undermine our concrete certainties.

      Churches are right to reformulate their policies in line with evolving understandings of their scriptures and theologies. I just have a hard time with them doing so, and then claiming that they a) have a monopoly on knowing what's right, and b) are sticking to an unchanging tradition when all the evidence is that it changes frequently.

  9. maria guzman on March 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

    The worshiping of hedonism takes you down the road to the darkest palce! Have some discipline when exploring feelings of pleasure. and do not let you choices be guided by these pleasures but let your decisions be guided by the wor of God, our creator.

  10. maria guzman on March 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

    The worshiping of hedonism takes you down the road to the darkest palce! Have some discipline when exploring feelings of pleasure. and do not let you choices be guided by these pleasures but let your decisions be guided by the wor of God, our creator.

  11. maria guzman on March 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

    The worshiping of hedonism takes you down the road to the darkest palce! Have some discipline when exploring feelings of pleasure. and do not let you choices be guided by these pleasures but let your decisions be guided by the wor of God, our creator.

  12. maria guzman on March 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

    The worshiping of hedonism takes you down the road to the darkest palce! Have some discipline when exploring feelings of pleasure. and do not let you choices be guided by these pleasures but let your decisions be guided by the wor of God, our creator.

  13. maria guzman on March 12, 2012 at 11:24 am

    darkest place, *world

  14. maria guzman on March 12, 2012 at 11:24 am

    darkest place, *world

  15. maria guzman on March 12, 2012 at 11:24 am

    darkest place, *world

  16. maria guzman on March 12, 2012 at 11:24 am

    darkest place, *world

  17. Jean-Claude Deschamp on March 13, 2012 at 8:09 am

    To Jen,

    The Catholic Church did make that statement on gay marriage! Yes, the Bible does state that marriage should be between a man and woman, but the Vatican came out and said that statement! Her research is well done!

    We are in the 21st century after all. I think it is time that we set aside these medieval values and move on from them.I feel that the USA is still stuck in that "medieval" stage. In my native France, and other nations around Europe, homosexual people are actually free to chose who they want to marry. i thought this was the land of free. Religious matters should be kept out of politics. This mixture between politics and religion is also very medieval, after in the middle ages, religion ruled, and guess what, that time period was called the dark ages. Time to for people to be more open minded.

  18. Jean-Claude Deschamp on March 13, 2012 at 8:09 am

    To Jen,

    The Catholic Church did make that statement on gay marriage! Yes, the Bible does state that marriage should be between a man and woman, but the Vatican came out and said that statement! Her research is well done!

    We are in the 21st century after all. I think it is time that we set aside these medieval values and move on from them.I feel that the USA is still stuck in that "medieval" stage. In my native France, and other nations around Europe, homosexual people are actually free to chose who they want to marry. i thought this was the land of free. Religious matters should be kept out of politics. This mixture between politics and religion is also very medieval, after in the middle ages, religion ruled, and guess what, that time period was called the dark ages. Time to for people to be more open minded.

  19. Jean-Claude Deschamp on March 13, 2012 at 8:09 am

    To Jen,

    The Catholic Church did make that statement on gay marriage! Yes, the Bible does state that marriage should be between a man and woman, but the Vatican came out and said that statement! Her research is well done!

    We are in the 21st century after all. I think it is time that we set aside these medieval values and move on from them.I feel that the USA is still stuck in that "medieval" stage. In my native France, and other nations around Europe, homosexual people are actually free to chose who they want to marry. i thought this was the land of free. Religious matters should be kept out of politics. This mixture between politics and religion is also very medieval, after in the middle ages, religion ruled, and guess what, that time period was called the dark ages. Time to for people to be more open minded.

  20. Jean-Claude Deschamp on March 13, 2012 at 8:09 am

    To Jen,

    The Catholic Church did make that statement on gay marriage! Yes, the Bible does state that marriage should be between a man and woman, but the Vatican came out and said that statement! Her research is well done!

    We are in the 21st century after all. I think it is time that we set aside these medieval values and move on from them.I feel that the USA is still stuck in that "medieval" stage. In my native France, and other nations around Europe, homosexual people are actually free to chose who they want to marry. i thought this was the land of free. Religious matters should be kept out of politics. This mixture between politics and religion is also very medieval, after in the middle ages, religion ruled, and guess what, that time period was called the dark ages. Time to for people to be more open minded.

  21. rjgwood on March 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Great article, great point! Thank you for taking a stand against all of the puritanical bull sh*t!

  22. rjgwood on March 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Great article, great point! Thank you for taking a stand against all of the puritanical bull sh*t!

  23. rjgwood on March 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Great article, great point! Thank you for taking a stand against all of the puritanical bull sh*t!

  24. rjgwood on March 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Great article, great point! Thank you for taking a stand against all of the puritanical bull sh*t!

  25. Bountious on March 16, 2012 at 12:45 am

    You think that the fact that you're a woman speaking on her sexuality is provocative because you're a woman? Stop being so absurdly self-centered. Your speech of sexuality makes people uncomfortable because sexuality is repressed generally in modern society. If I were to re-phrase your opening, replacing all of the effeminate affectations with masculine, it would be just as uncomfortable. Men aren't suppressing women's sexuality. People are suppressing sexuality generally, both men and women.
    Patriarchal Theory is a farce formulated to pit one against another. Evolutionary Biology disproves it. Historically, women are objects, while men are actions. Women are used for the reproduction of the race, while men are used for the protection. We each have natural places as partners in the creation and support of the community. Men are expected to die for their communities. They're expected to be the community's warriors, their rescue workers, their willing sacrifice, as exemplified by the phrase "women and children first." I personally feel that this societal norm and its psychological ramifications rival any women's advocacy issue, in terms of potential for damaging society. I will be the first to agree that we are far from gender equality, but to say that one is oppressed by the other is ignoring history and what social behaviors came from: life and its evolution.
    Here's my argument, in a nutshell: you speak of the historical justification of the policing of female bodies. What do you call Selective Service? I'd rather be submissive and still have some freedoms than dead or in jail. Patriarchal Theory is nothing but inflammatory in-regards to gender relations.
    I respect your candor in regards to sexuality. I applaud it. I agree that we need more people like you willing to speak about themselves honestly. It's the fact that you're disseminating Patriarch Theory without any type of analysis, as if it's accepted fact that gets under my skin. There is no single group responsible for any type of inequality in the world. We've all denied another's rights at some point. The key to stepping forward is accepting others as our family, as part humanity and our historical lineage. The key to equality and justice is teaching each that the other is to be friend, not enemy or competition. We live with each other, not despite.
    I don't mean this as an attack on anything but Feminist Theory. Dang, that sounded better in my head.

    • Bountious on March 16, 2012 at 12:53 am

      Sorry for the typos. :)

  26. Bountious on March 16, 2012 at 12:45 am

    You think that the fact that you're a woman speaking on her sexuality is provocative because you're a woman? Stop being so absurdly self-centered. Your speech of sexuality makes people uncomfortable because sexuality is repressed generally in modern society. If I were to re-phrase your opening, replacing all of the effeminate affectations with masculine, it would be just as uncomfortable. Men aren't suppressing women's sexuality. People are suppressing sexuality generally, both men and women.
    Patriarchal Theory is a farce formulated to pit one against another. Evolutionary Biology disproves it. Historically, women are objects, while men are actions. Women are used for the reproduction of the race, while men are used for the protection. We each have natural places as partners in the creation and support of the community. Men are expected to die for their communities. They're expected to be the community's warriors, their rescue workers, their willing sacrifice, as exemplified by the phrase "women and children first." I personally feel that this societal norm and its psychological ramifications rival any women's advocacy issue, in terms of potential for damaging society. I will be the first to agree that we are far from gender equality, but to say that one is oppressed by the other is ignoring history and what social behaviors came from: life and its evolution.
    Here's my argument, in a nutshell: you speak of the historical justification of the policing of female bodies. What do you call Selective Service? I'd rather be submissive and still have some freedoms than dead or in jail. Patriarchal Theory is nothing but inflammatory in-regards to gender relations.
    I respect your candor in regards to sexuality. I applaud it. I agree that we need more people like you willing to speak about themselves honestly. It's the fact that you're disseminating Patriarch Theory without any type of analysis, as if it's accepted fact that gets under my skin. There is no single group responsible for any type of inequality in the world. We've all denied another's rights at some point. The key to stepping forward is accepting others as our family, as part humanity and our historical lineage. The key to equality and justice is teaching each that the other is to be friend, not enemy or competition. We live with each other, not despite.
    I don't mean this as an attack on anything but Feminist Theory. Dang, that sounded better in my head.

    • Bountious on March 16, 2012 at 12:53 am

      Sorry for the typos. :)

  27. Bountious on March 16, 2012 at 12:45 am

    You think that the fact that you're a woman speaking on her sexuality is provocative because you're a woman? Stop being so absurdly self-centered. Your speech of sexuality makes people uncomfortable because sexuality is repressed generally in modern society. If I were to re-phrase your opening, replacing all of the effeminate affectations with masculine, it would be just as uncomfortable. Men aren't suppressing women's sexuality. People are suppressing sexuality generally, both men and women.
    Patriarchal Theory is a farce formulated to pit one against another. Evolutionary Biology disproves it. Historically, women are objects, while men are actions. Women are used for the reproduction of the race, while men are used for the protection. We each have natural places as partners in the creation and support of the community. Men are expected to die for their communities. They're expected to be the community's warriors, their rescue workers, their willing sacrifice, as exemplified by the phrase "women and children first." I personally feel that this societal norm and its psychological ramifications rival any women's advocacy issue, in terms of potential for damaging society. I will be the first to agree that we are far from gender equality, but to say that one is oppressed by the other is ignoring history and what social behaviors came from: life and its evolution.
    Here's my argument, in a nutshell: you speak of the historical justification of the policing of female bodies. What do you call Selective Service? I'd rather be submissive and still have some freedoms than dead or in jail. Patriarchal Theory is nothing but inflammatory in-regards to gender relations.
    I respect your candor in regards to sexuality. I applaud it. I agree that we need more people like you willing to speak about themselves honestly. It's the fact that you're disseminating Patriarch Theory without any type of analysis, as if it's accepted fact that gets under my skin. There is no single group responsible for any type of inequality in the world. We've all denied another's rights at some point. The key to stepping forward is accepting others as our family, as part humanity and our historical lineage. The key to equality and justice is teaching each that the other is to be friend, not enemy or competition. We live with each other, not despite.
    I don't mean this as an attack on anything but Feminist Theory. Dang, that sounded better in my head.

    • Bountious on March 16, 2012 at 12:53 am

      Sorry for the typos. :)

  28. Bountious on March 16, 2012 at 12:45 am

    You think that the fact that you're a woman speaking on her sexuality is provocative because you're a woman? Stop being so absurdly self-centered. Your speech of sexuality makes people uncomfortable because sexuality is repressed generally in modern society. If I were to re-phrase your opening, replacing all of the effeminate affectations with masculine, it would be just as uncomfortable. Men aren't suppressing women's sexuality. People are suppressing sexuality generally, both men and women.
    Patriarchal Theory is a farce formulated to pit one against another. Evolutionary Biology disproves it. Historically, women are objects, while men are actions. Women are used for the reproduction of the race, while men are used for the protection. We each have natural places as partners in the creation and support of the community. Men are expected to die for their communities. They're expected to be the community's warriors, their rescue workers, their willing sacrifice, as exemplified by the phrase "women and children first." I personally feel that this societal norm and its psychological ramifications rival any women's advocacy issue, in terms of potential for damaging society. I will be the first to agree that we are far from gender equality, but to say that one is oppressed by the other is ignoring history and what social behaviors came from: life and its evolution.
    Here's my argument, in a nutshell: you speak of the historical justification of the policing of female bodies. What do you call Selective Service? I'd rather be submissive and still have some freedoms than dead or in jail. Patriarchal Theory is nothing but inflammatory in-regards to gender relations.
    I respect your candor in regards to sexuality. I applaud it. I agree that we need more people like you willing to speak about themselves honestly. It's the fact that you're disseminating Patriarch Theory without any type of analysis, as if it's accepted fact that gets under my skin. There is no single group responsible for any type of inequality in the world. We've all denied another's rights at some point. The key to stepping forward is accepting others as our family, as part humanity and our historical lineage. The key to equality and justice is teaching each that the other is to be friend, not enemy or competition. We live with each other, not despite.
    I don't mean this as an attack on anything but Feminist Theory. Dang, that sounded better in my head.

    • Bountious on March 16, 2012 at 12:53 am

      Sorry for the typos. :)

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